When you ask some of us, “what does study abroad mean to you?” we may tell you that we want to experience other cultures and eventually migrate. This case applies to those who leave to study overseas from developing countries. They intend to remain there after schooling. However, staying in the country that you studied in as an international student is not always a bed of roses. Or maybe it is since you can’t get through a rose field without dealing with thorns.
As the world economy tries to recover post-pandemic, developing countries suffer the most. So, even with the challenges of studying abroad, many students still use education as a vehicle for migration, thinking that every person studying abroad makes it big. The truth to this statement is undecided, but it is an idea many local students are willing to die for.
Of course, many international students also come from other developed countries, but the statistics show that the influx from developing countries is relatively higher.
The country you studied in may have better job opportunities for your discipline than wherever you are going back to. For example, after graduating from an Ivy League college, there will be establishments lined up that want graduates from that school. So if you make excellent grades, you would most likely be noticed by these companies.
You also may be paid better than you would have if you returned to work in your home country. Sometimes, the difference may be down to exchange rates, but staying back after schooling is more lucrative for many international students. And since you have gained contextually relevant skills from the country’s universities, local companies will be willing to splurge on you because you understand their market and needs.
There is no guarantee that your skills will be relevant back home, especially if you didn’t study a professional course. But you shouldn’t have to abandon your passion if it isn’t in STEM or any professional practice just because you want to get a job. The world thrives on the diverse skills we all bring to the table, so if your study country appreciates your passion, you should stay back.
Finally, even within the professional courses, your area of specialization may not fetch you much back home because different societies have specific needs. For example, if you studied aeronautical engineering, you are better off settling in the country after graduating, especially if your home country doesn’t build airplanes. So staying back will work best for you if your degree and skills are more relevant in your host country.
To stay back in the country you studied, you would need a work permit because your student visa will expire soon after you graduate. There is no guarantee that your job opportunity will come fast enough to help you stay back in the host country. While you wait to get a job, you are in danger of overstaying your visa, which is a crime and which may earn you deportation. So if you are not sure of a job with a work permit the moment you graduate, then staying back may not be such a good idea.
While you think your years in your study program must have taught you to adapt to the foreign culture and society, you may be in for a rude awakening after graduation. It is often easy to adapt to a school environment. You were locked in a safe student-life bubble where you would often hang out with other students for lunch or drinks.
When you move out of the campus and get an apartment in the city, you will start making more friends and meeting new people. However, the welcoming environment you enjoyed on the campus may not be available in the outside world. Many international students will have to relearn the cultures and norms of the new environment to survive.
Although we try our best to eliminate discrimination, it is still a problem that many immigrants face. Settling abroad after studying may subject you to racism, which is unnerving at the very least. While you may not face this issue on campus because of other international students there, the outside world can be unforgiving. Thankfully, social movements against racism help improve people’s lives, but the menace still exists, so you must consider it before settling abroad after schooling.
If you decide to stay back in a country you studied, expect to experience pros and cons and use your knowledge to prepare accordingly. However, with a solid support system, settling abroad can be the best decision to make. It can open you up to better-paying jobs, grant you access to spaces and people that can make your life better in the long run - and these are the factors worth looking forward to.
About the author
Amanda Dudley is a writer and lecturer with a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. She speaks English and German fluently and has been lecturing since 2001. Ms. Dudley constantly seeks new techniques to make learning easier for her students and provide education for disabled children. When she is not teaching, she provides a reliable essay writing service, helping students write stellar essays and meet burning deadlines.
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